By Roy Reiss
August 13, 2014
It always ends so suddenly that it’s almost impossible to manage your inner emotions. Boom! The season is over. Lots of hugs and tears are shed at the end of that last game and then suddenly you realize no more baseball this year. What a bummer. And it’s way too early to start thinking of 2015. So let’s take a look back at what we witnessed the last two months and see if that eases the pain.
Every coach in all sports will tell you teams have to win on the road if they’re to be successful. The Kettleers finished 6-16 in away games and failed to win at Orleans, Harwich, Y-D, Wareham and Falmouth. Teams don’t get the swagger and confidence when they struggle away from home, and the Kettleers are exhibit A.
The Kettleers had to be near the top of the league in the number of transactions during the season with 58 players dotting their roster. Just in the last week of the regular season they brought in 4 new players to fill out their 28 man roster. At 2nd base alone they had 8 different players at the position over the long season. D.C. Arendis, Caleb Whalen, Grant Kay, Logan Taylor, Drew Jackson, Logan Ratledge, Dalton Dulin, and Jordan Ebert all had playing time at the position. Did all the shuffling and juggling allow the team to gain an identity? It’s difficult in normal circumstances to mold team chemistry, so how tough does the job become when there’s constant roster movement.
Pitching, Pitching and More Pitching
When your pitching staff leads the league in the number of walks issued (210, next closest was 157), number of hit batters (52) and number of wild pitches (48), you wonder how the team made the playoffs. If pitching is the most important position on the diamond, the Kettleers would have to be considered extremely fortunate to continue their season after 44 regular season games.
Somehow the Ketteers seemed to be more inspired during the 5 game playoff run. The pitching improved until it simply ran out of gas in the season finale, and allowed the hitters to have a chance. Clutch hits like Brendan Hendriks towering two run homer in Game 2 versus Bourne became the norm. The Kettleers took advantage of the opposition’s mistakes in Game 3 which ran contrary to what unfolded during the regular season. The Bourne playoff series was the season’s highlight and rallied the passionate Kettleers fan base. Next up was Falmouth and in the two games, the Commodores clearly showed they were the more complete team. Somehow the Kettleers received some quality pitching in the series but the overall depth, hitting, defense and pitching of Falmouth was simply too much for the Kettleers to overcome. You tip your hat to a better team and wish them well in the Championship Round.
You always look for some ideas or ways to better the product and maybe it’s time for the CCBL to really delve into this area. The 44 game regular season and playoffs simply run too long into August. Players leave early and teams are left to find substitute players much too late into the season. You simply can’t have three pitchers playing the outfield along with a left handed shortstop in a playoff game as what happened with the Brewster Whitecaps this season. That’s not showcasing the top collegiate players in the land and isn’t that what the CCBL prides itself on.
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.